What Ivanka Did This Week: Pavers, Protests & Paid Family Leave

Natalie Gontcharova

What Ivanka Did This Week is a weekly column that explores what Ivanka Trump, first daughter and adviser to President Donald Trump, does all day. Ivanka's schedule has not been made public, so each week, we will do our best to cover the public events and forums she attends, the meetings she has with lawmakers and government officials, and her social media presence.

Refinery29 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for Ivanka's public schedule; it was denied.

Friday, July 6

• Ivanka tweeted a couple of positive messages about the economy's growth.

Sunday, July 8

• Ivanka tweeted a Wall Street Journal article called "Ivanka Checks the 'Fact Checker': Should the Washington Post award itself a few Pinocchios?"

Monday, July 9

• Ahead of Wednesday's hearing on paid family leave, held in front of a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Finance, Ivanka tweeted that only 15% of American workers have access to paid family leave, of which 6% are low-income workers. She also tweeted that she's looking forward to the hearing, which was hosted by Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy.

• Ivanka visited New York state asphalt company Suit-Kote with NY Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney "to see the positive impacts of #TaxReform." She participated in a roundtable and even drove a paver with the help of an employee. "Thanks for the lesson (and patience) Alan!" she tweeted.

• Later that day, Ivanka visited Syracuse P-Tech, a vocational high school, for a roundtable on education and workforce development. There were reportedly around 100 protesters against the Trump administration's family separation policy at the school, holding signs that read things like, "No kids in cages."

Tuesday, July 10

• Ivanka held a discussion about paid family leave at the White House with Sens. Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Joni Ernst. She also continued to tweet in favour of a bipartisan solution.

• Ivanka tweeted a National Review article about jobs.

Wednesday, July 11

• Ivanka sparred with Chris Lu, a former Obama official, about paid family leave on Twitter. He pointed out that Democrats have been trying to pass the FAMILY Act for years, but Republicans won't support it. She responded that there's yet to be a plan with "bipartisan support."

• Ivanka attended the hearing on paid family leave, where New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and others testified in favour of the FAMILY Act, which is more comprehensive than the Republican plan expected to be introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio.

After the hearing, we caught up with Ivanka in the Senate hallway, where we asked her why the Republican plan only covers new parents, which leaves out approximately 75% of leave-takers. "My preference is to go beyond parental leave," she said. "But...right now we are at zero weeks of paid leave. We don't have parental, we don't have caregiving."

• Dozens of neighbours protested in front of Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner's house in D.C.'s upscale Kalorama neighbourhood, the Daily Mail reported. Urging Ivanka to do something about her father's failure to reunite immigrant children with their parents, they held signs like, "You own this. Tell daddy, 'Enough!'"

Ivanka reportedly "avoided the drama" by stepping out of the house during the protest. "Under normal circumstances we would never protest outside a home. But these are not normal circumstances," one of her neighbours, a retired lawyer and theology teacher, told the Daily Mail.

Thursday, July 12

• Back on the Hill, Ivanka continued to push for the Perkins Act, which provides "federal funding to states and discretionary grantees for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs."

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